Michael Yarish/Fox

Sue pays homage to her musical icon, and the boys learn what it feels like for a girl


S1 E15
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April 21, 2010 at 04:00 PM EDT

BEST. EPISODE. YET. In my mind, this was a game-changer for Glee. It took the show (and the cast) to a whole new level of awesomeness. Let me put it this way: If it were possible for me to LIVE inside an episode of television, it would be the Madonna episode of Glee. I don’t think I’ve been as excited by an episode since the original pilot (or re-watched an hour of Glee so many times). This hour has been hyped for so long — yours truly actually broke the news of it last fall in our Glee cover story — but it actually lived up to the hype. And Madonna’s music proved to work surprisingly well for big choral numbers.

It was not at all surprising that Madonna would turn out to be Sue Sylvester’s role model. But that plot device turned out to be a really solid way of incorporating her Madgjesty into the show. And we learned quite a bit about Sue’s background, which was alternately hilarious (she claims to be 29 and that her parents were famous Nazi hunters — when are we meeting these folks?!) and believable (she fried her hair as a child after bleaching it and is jealous of Will’s wavy mane).

Occasionally, it felt a little forced (the playing of her music in the halls felt a little unrealistic) but overall it really worked. Even better, the entire ensemble got great moments instead of just Rachel and Finn — not that I don’t love seeing those two together.

Also, it is now official, my new show crush is Jesse St. James (played by Jonathan Groff). It used to be Puck, but Jesse is kinda stealing his bad boy mojo, although I’m not sure you can classify someone who uses the term ”melancholia” as a bad boy. The twist of having him join New Directions at the end was great. It ups the stakes for so many of the plotlines, especially Finn and Rachel.

Since this episode was so-wall-to wall with music, I’ve decided to review each performance. (I’m leaving out the ”Ray of Light” Cheerios number because they weren’t really singing… but I appreciated a good incorporation of stilts!)

”Express Yourself”

Looooved the costumes, especially the incorporation of the monocle. And the choreography was fantastic. It was a little more standard of an adaptation but still really solid. One question: Was it me or did Quinn lose her baby bump in this performance? Maybe the bustier sucked it in? Either way, that seems bad for the baby. B+

NEXT: Jane Lynch, we’re planning your Emmy reel

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Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, and high school anxiety star in Fox’s campy musical.
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